Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Pier 1: Sweet Caramel Pumpkin Candle

We spent Labor Day weekend with my in-laws down in Bonita Springs. Adam's brother and sister-in-law drove down from St. Louis and we all spent time together. Sheryl, my mother-in-law, is very sweet and she had a candle from Pier 1 waiting on my sister-in-law and me. Mine is scented in Sweet Caramel Pumpkin. This 7.8 ounce candle for $10.95 (BOGO 50% off all fall fragrances as of time of writing) burns evenly and smells delicious. 

Sweet Caramel Pumpkin- Notes: Pumpkin, orange and peach mixed with a blend of creamy milk, sweet caramel and rich vanilla, enriched with almond and coconut, them sprinkled with cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and tamarind. 

With all the notes given, really it just smells like a very creamy vanilla pumpkin blend. There is a milky coconut quality that reminds me a little of Bath & Body Works Pumpkin Coconut scent. The spice doesn't translate much, mostly a thick rich baked vanilla pumpkin treat. The throw is medium-strong in a large living area. Make sure to keep the wicks trimmed as they can throw out some soot if left a smidge too long.

I am pretty impressed with my very first Pier 1 candle. I love the frosted glass jar and the pine candle topper. The throw and scent are pleasant and I would be happy to burn more. 

Have you tried any Pier 1 candles? 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Melting Basket 106

Fallish wax from the last basket I would happily seek out again include: CFTKR Hot Apple Pie and Baked Apple, Dessa's Haunted Hollow, LSC Sugar Berry Clove, TDC Marshmallows by the Fire and Fire Witch, RG Cold Winter Day and TBG Victorian Midway.

Southbound Soap Co- Witching Hour
Southbound Soap Co- Ghostly Brew
Dessa's Homespun Scents- Crackling Campfire
Dessa's Homespun Scents- Autumn Garland
Dessa's Homespun Scents- Fall in the Country
CFTKR- Cinnamon and Amber Type
Bohemienne Life- My Chai
Super Tarts- Wizard <3 gift
ScentSationals- Apple wood <3 gift
ScentSationals- Honey Crisp Cider

 If you would like any of these reviewed in depth, just let me know which ones and I would be happy to oblige. 

I am trying to rise out of the fog of a strange purgatory we have been floating in the past week. 

No school, no power for many, no routine. It was hard to remain constant in anything during those chaotic several days. 

Monday saw me headed back to work and I was ready to be there. Rescheduling conferences that were missed, signing up for certification exams and registering for college... again. It all feels surreal and I bit all my nails off worrying about whether I would pass now that I am so far removed from those agriscience days and if I would be able to juggle work, home, family and school again.

But this is my path. I am being stretched again and yes it is uncomfortable at the moment, but new and better and shinier things will come of it.

It is time to remind myself to take one day at a time. One test at a time. One course at a time. 

And for something cheerful:

"By all these lovely tokens, 
September days are here, 
With summer's best of weather,
And autumn's best of cheer."
- Helen Hunt Jackson

How is your September rolling along? Is the fall bringing any changes? Challenges? Stretching? 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Warmed Wax: RG, LSC and Dessa

Please accept my apologies for the craptastic photos. Sometimes I am feeling up to prettying things up and sometimes I am lucky I remembered to take a photo at all. It was a crazy week.

Rosegirls Cold Winter's Day is a blend of birchwood, vanilla, nag champa, vetiver, tonka bean and bergamot. It smells amazing and throws beautifully. Easily a medium-strong to strong scent in large areas. I mentioned before it smells like upscale nag champa and I think that still fits. It is a lovely woodsy yet plushly sweet incense aroma. I would repurchase it again in a heart beat. This was my last muffin and now it is all gone. Tears. If anyone wants to trade some Light As A Feather, Stiff As A Board for some Cold Winter's Day please drop me a message.

Dessa's Homespun Scents Haunted Hollow (sorry! See! I forgot to take a pic until it was entirely melted... fail) is a nice strong throwing blend of cedarwood and cinnamon. On cold it has a slightly earthy soil scent to it but that dissipates as it melts and just becomes the most lovely spiced woods. Repurchase for sure. In fact. I already need more, since I shared I am out. 

Lasting Scent Candles Sugar Berry Clove is a nice one. It threw medium-strong in the kitchen and smelled like a sweet rich compote of stewed berries and spice. Divine. I do wish I lasted a touch longer since it smelled so good. Repurchase.

Lasting Scent Candles Clove Cinnamon was a dud. The throw was very light. Which is strange given it is a predominately spiced scent. Ah well. 

I finally finished that Enchantress of Florence story. Good grief that took me like two months!! Thankfully this current read is a much quicker, less cerebral, page turner. I think I will be finished with it in a day or two. What are you reading? Melting anything good? 

Some orders I have in the queue... my Sniff My Tarts custom (my name should be called any day now!),  a small Halloween Bathing Garden order, Handmade in Florida pre-order, Cosmic Cleanse pre-order (almost ready) and some perfumes from Nocturne Alchemy and a conditioner and whipped soap from FuturePrimitive. I may have just ordered three candles from Streetman Company Store as well. What are you waiting on to arrive? Any order plotting?

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Fall Fun Series II: All About Apples

All About Autumn with some apples thrown in.

It's time for some apples today on this Fall Fun Series post.

Today I am sharing with you one of my favorite apple pie recipes. I think this came from Southern Living magazine. It uses Granny Smith apples and a cornmeal crust dough. 

First up, the dough!

Cornmeal Crust Dough:
Makes 2 dough disks

2 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour
1/4 cup of plain yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold butter, cubed small
1/4 cup of cold shortening, cubed small
8 to 10 tablespoons of chilled apple cider (or unfiltered apple juice)

Stir the first four ingredients in a large bowl.

Cut in the butter and shortening with a pastry blender (or fork) until mixture resembles small peas or rocky soil in my case.

Mound flour mixture on one side of bowl. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of cider along edge of mixture and gently toss with a fork in that small area until the flour is moist. Yeah, you read that right. I said moist

Keep adding cider/juice until all the flour is.... moist. It should form a sphere of dough easily. If too dry, add more juice, if too wet try adding a touch of flour. Do your best not to over mix. The butter and shortening being in clumps helps make the dough flaky. 

Split dough into two roughly equal portions and form a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for 1 hour to 24 hours or freeze for a few weeks. These are nice to make ahead for holidays. And this cornmeal crust tastes great with pumpkin pie as well. 

Homemade Apple Pie:
Serves 8

- Preheat oven to 375. Peel and cut 4 1/2 pounds of Granny Smith apples (I doubled this recipe so I could make a pie for my grandpa so I used 8 apples for 2 whole pies). Slice into 1/2 inch thick wedges. 

- Mix apple wedges with 1 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of flour, 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Let stand 15 minutes, gently stir. I like to add in a bit more cinnamon and a touch of vanilla extract if I am feeling frisky. 

Roll out both discs of dough onto a well floured surface. Flour your rolling pin from time to time too. About 11 inches wide will work to cover a 9 inch glass pie plate (non-greased). 

- Spoon apple mixture onto crust, pack tightly down and mound in the center. Dot with butter. I use roughly 1-2 tablespoons cut up. Top the pie with the second disc of rolled out dough. Fold edges over and crimp. Cut 4-6 slits in the center for steam to escape if using the whole sheet of crust. Or get creative and do some fun pie artwork! Place pie on a jelly roll/cookie sheet. 

- Bake at 375 in center of the oven for 50 minutes, then cover loosely with foil and bake 40 minutes more. Cool 1 1/2 to 2 hours before serving. 

Mine are not Martha Stewart worthy but they tasted pretty darn good. I may fancy it up next time. Or not. 

Here is a link to a Fresh Spiced Apple Cake I enjoy baking this time of year as well. 

Last year I sang the praises of Solstice Scents' Corvin's Apple Fest for all things apple scented. I do still enjoy that perfume oil, but this year I am adding two more apple filled fragrances: Arcana's Apples Crave Terror and Mulled Apple. I particularly enjoy these two layered together. Mulled Apple is in fact intended as a layering scent. It adds a warm spiced apple clarity to any scent and is nice on its own as well. Apples Crave Terror is a scent I purchased second hand after reading some recommendations. It is a resinous apple scent that smells rather naughty. Arcana has a whole "Apples Crave" line but this is the only one I have sniffed and worn. I do enjoy the sample of Sixteen92's Bourbon Apple Cider I have from a Mystery Sampler as well. 

Do you have any apple related scented products your are enjoying that I should try? 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Willow Wax Craft: First Order

Willow Wax Craft pulled me in recently with their lovely branding, interesting blends and I also enjoy that Samantha, the owner, features indie perfume companies on her IG feed. I browsed and ended up with four scents, Samantha sent me a conversation letting me know she had a four pack bundle discount and refunded me some of my payment. It was unexpected and appreciated. I ordered on the 31st of August and it arrived September 5th. Four clamshells were $18.68 and shipping was $8.15 plus I had 15% off for Etsy's first ever Labor Day sale. 

Everything came packaged beautifully in a small flat rate box. The clamshells were wrapped in brown paper and sealed with fall leaf washi tape. The free samples were packed in a stamped muslin bag and there were even scent list cards for reference (LOVE!). 

Ghoul-Haunted Woodland- A dreamlike walk through gloomy woods one lonesome October night- propelled by spirits or demons- where? Cool, shadowy conifers, a hint of rain, withering leaves, apples and lavender. 

A beautifully written description that recounts a cool fall day. A touch of aquatic ozone in the atmosphere speaks of chilled mist floating above the forest floor, woods and herbs dapple the scene with their greenery and a hint of sweetness from the ripe wild apples round it out. Two cubes threw medium-light in the large kitchen and living area.

Thornfield Hall- A stately, elegant blend of rosewood and musk, paired with pale pumpkin and wild lilac. This bird can't be caged.

I was sold on the rosewood and musk married to the pumpkin. And the rosewood does not disappoint. Thornfield Hall is paneled with rosewood in abundance, its glowing polished wood gleaming from the walls and floor. Puffs of lilac bushes nod against the windows and delicately perfume the mansion's air. The pumpkin does not translate literally but does seem to add a darkness to the hall. Some lowlight depth. As a huge lovers of rosewood this one is a win in my books. Two cubes threw medium in the living area and kitchen. 

Liber Arcana- Peruse dusty wooden shelves and ancient tomes of forbidden knowledge- the library has the answers you seek! Old leather-bound books, rare herbs and hints of cauldron smoke, all with a refreshing pumpkin beverage in hand for a long night of studying (or mischief!)

Libraries, books and pumpkins? My Hermione heart quickens at the mention of these favorite things. The leather's voice comes across the most distinct but this is a nice leather, not plasticy or overbearing but soft, smooth and supple. It is mellowed by the hint of smoke and green herbs. I do wish the pumpkin would come out to play a touch more. Two cubes threw medium-light in the kitchen and living area. 

Moon Child- The most vast of empires can arise from a single grain of sand- do what you dream and start wishing. An ethereal blend of rich vanilla, oak, rosewood, vetiver, smooth amber and musk.

I love this scent. It is a smoky vanilla woods that screams to be melted. I am going to hold on to it for a touch longer and see if maybe with some curing it will be a touch stronger than the other three I have melted up to now. I seriously am digging this scent. 

Free samples included two wax cubes and two Japanese candies. Love me some Japanese candies.

Harvest Hayride smells of apples, fruits and sweet hay and soft earth. A pleasant scent that will melt nicely in the bathroom wall plug-in warmer.

Balm of Gilead is scented in the vintage tones of violet cosmetics, lipsticks and powders. It reminds me of a few Sixteen92 perfumes. Another cool scent to melt in the bathroom. 

Overall I am happy with my first ever Willow Wax Craft order. I thoroughly enjoy the branding and scent blends, the discounts and customer service. The TAT is amazing and shipping is fairly reasonable. My only wish is that the scents were a touch stronger. It could be the blends I chose and it won't stop me from trying some more out. I have my eye on Sleepy Hollow Day (moss and woodsmoke!), Mechanical Heart (copal?! awwww yes), Primeval Forest (cardamom, rose and cedarwood), Bonfire Stories and Stay Golden. 

Have you tried Willow Wax Craft? Any I need to try?

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Lasting Scent Candles: Summer Sale RTS

I was a goose and skipped the most recent Lasting Scent Candles pre-order. I must have already used my was budget for the time being or something but I tried to make up for it once she released her RTS sale. I picked up both 1 1/2 ($1.75) and 2 ounce ($2.65) scent shots in a variety of scents. Mostly fallish. 

Spooktacular- Buttery cookie dough, brown sugared apples, toffee bits, creamy caramel and fall spices.
I do think I may have had this one before but not sure. It does mostly smell like a deep and rich, chewy and thick sugar cookie with bits of dark brown sugar and caramel apple bits threaded through. Delicious, toothsome bakery.

Toasted Pumpkin Latte- Dark roasted coffee, pumpkin flavored syrup, creamy coconut, sweet vanilla froth and sprinkled with toasted coconut.
A new one for my nose, and though coffee is not normally my thing, I do love some Lasting Scent Candles coffee blends. The coffee is super creamy and sweet, just how I like it. The coconut adds the perfect touch to the pumpkin latte. No spice.

The Great Pumpkin- Sweet pumpkin with a touch of spice, creamy butterscotch custard, caramelized sugar crust and butter brickle cream.
Please pass me the spoon... I have some wax to eat. This is seriously the most mouth watering pumpkin treat ever. Not too much spice but enough to add warmth and flavor and all the butterscotch and butter brickle thickness oozing out of it. 

Sinful- Creamy sweet vanilla custard with a caramelized sugar crust and butterscotch brickle crumbles on top.
Repurchase. A classic sticky vanilla and caramel delight. I love the throw on this one and the drool worthy scent of baking goodies it imparts in the home.

Jack O'Lantern Cookies- Pumpkin puree, vanilla cream and the best buttery sugar cookie around.
Another newbie for me... the gratifying smack of chewy sugar cookies, heavy with vanilla and a dab of caramelized pumpkin creme.

Pumpkin Chill- Creamy pumpkin, vanilla ice cream and brown sugar crumbles in a crunchy vanilla waffle cone.
Soft pumpkin and caramel ice cream indeed. One to gladden the senses.

Dracula's Dungeon- Patchouli, cedarwood, incense and vanilla.
Repurchase. One of the most smooth patchouli scents I have smelled in wax. I love how aromatic yet placid LSC's patchouli notes are... I kinda want to be shackled in Dracula's Dungeon if this is what is smells like. So genteel.

Cinnamon Vanilla Waffle Cone
Wonderfully spicy vanilla. Snappy yet tempered this snug scent really has me stoked to melt it. Glad I bought two.

Cast A Spell- Patchouli, cedarwood, mahogany and exotic spice.
Repurchase. One of my favorites in this order and I dang near love them all pretty hard. Where Dracula's has that slick edge of vanilla to sweeten it, here there is a more woodsy and piquant edge of spice. Another great rendition of patchouli.

Vanilla Ice Cream Cone- Creamy vanilla bean ice cream in a sugar vanilla waffle cone.
Pure vanilla cream bliss. Kinda sad I only have this one 2 ounce scent shot but at least I get to experience it. 

Summer Bonfire- Pink Sugar and Toasted Embers (Marshmallow Fireside).
I knew I was bringing these guys home. Summer Bonfire was the one I wanted the most. Pink Marshmallow Fireside is my obsession and I grabbed two of each size in this. Pam knocks both of these notes out of the park in their own right so I knew she would make this blend insanely good. And I was right. A perfectly balanced gooey mallow, pink sugared cotton candy caramel and soft fireside smoke. I am not sure how I can ever bring myself to melt these as I am afraid to run out now. 

Pam has been teasing us with so many great scents for the next wax opening and she will be hosting an Aroma Mist only opening here soon too. I have used up two and a half of the Aroma Mists I bought last time so I will be headed into both of those openings. 

What scent blend are you head over heels for at the moment? Did you partake of any LSC lately?

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Ariana Victoria Rose: Bath Bombs and Jewelry

Now just to put this out there... I am not nor have I ever been a fan of the whole jewelry in candles/tarts/bath bombs trend. Mostly because I am picky about my jewelry and I really only enjoy wearing handmade, precious metal and gemstone pieces. I know... I know... I am a big snob and I am ok with that. I do not knock anyone who does enjoy jewelry in the candles/tarts/bath bombs... whatever makes you happy is grand! 

This is the first jewelry in a bath bomb experience I have ever had and I am actually pretty darn happy about it. My friend Valerie tagged me in an IG post that alerted to to this particular silversmith and her wares... Ariana Victoria Rose. AVR creates her own silver and gemstone jewelry and then once a month she will make rings just for bath bombs. 

The bath bombs come in one new scent and shape each month... September was a sunflower shape and scented in Autumn Woods. You are able to choose your size ring within a 1/2 size. I chose a size 10 so that means it could be between 10 and 10 1/2. The rings inside, as mentioned before, are handcrafted by Ariana Victoria Rose from silver and sometimes with gemstones. The value of the ring can range from $10 to $100 and the bath bombs cost $25 each.

The bath bomb arrived beautifully packaged. 

Autumn Woods is a sharp green sap, sweet hay and earth scent. It made for a pleasing fizzy bath and the ring was securely snug in a plastic ball that floated to the top of the bath water. 

Inside was tucked this citrine leaf ring that fits wonderfully. 

I think I am hooked. I love the clash of my bathing ritual with my magpie collecting. Truly the best of both worlds.

October's collection is called Basic Witch and I believe I will try to snag another one. Follow AVR on IG to see release announcements and snapshots of all the rings that are included. Beware... these do go fast so set an alarm.